N.J. halfway house operators deny reports of violence, escapes

Operators of New Jersey’s privately run halfway houses are denying published reports of rampant violence and inmate escapes.

The CEO of Community Education Centers, the largest of New Jersey’s halfway house providers, told a Senate panel Thursday that New York Times reports the company took no action to deal with tragic events at their facilities just aren’t true.

“To the contrary, all of us work with a difficult population and tragic incidents have and will occur,” John Clancy said. “Each and every incident is investigated, reviewing with the referring agency and/or appropriate law enforcement agencies. A corrective action plans is always submitted for review and implemented.”

Corrections Commissioner Gary Lanigan, who said there are very few violent acts at the halfway houses, says state oversight of the facilities has improved in the past two years.

The officials were called to testify Thursday before a state Senate committee looking at halfway houses after a New York Times investigation that found major problems at the privately run facilities.

Halfway house operators say they’re ready to do whatever will make the system better.

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